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Who is the Guru?
2022, November, Issue 18
When people ask me if it is important to find a teacher, I always say that it is very important. When I contemplate just what this means, however, I find that it’s not so easy to understand. I’m not saying that we should ever accept what someone says without question. I’m also not saying that we should ever disregard our own inner voice. This intuitive part of us, or Buddha Nature, is always correct. This can be contrasted with wishful thinking or impulsive behavior, which is always a tragic mistake.
We need to tread lightly, when it comes to discovering just who the Guru really is. Listen to our intuition; and, when we do so, we discover that our true Guru is really within us. By looking at mind, we discover that there is a part of us that never steers us wrong. We can test this through meditation. It’s important to examine such things very carefully and to never act through blind faith or impulsivity. When we discover our Guru, we can begin to act in a spontaneous manner that flows from what is, as it is, not some idea we may believe or wish to be true.
Discovering the Guru is discovering reality, a reality that goes beyond material, religious or cultural constraints. When I have taught Guru Yoga recently, I taught it in a way that reflected my own Near Death Experience. With the first sounding of AH, I said to begin with visualization of Samantabhadra. The second sounding of AH was accompanied by Padmasambhava, and the third visualization came with Buddha Shakyamuni. These three Gurus represented each of the three dimensions that I travelled through and from in my experiences.
When I died and became Dharmakaya light, I became fully integrated with all and beyond. This condition was beyond belief of any sort, indescribable, completely aware—and self was no longer real. This idea that people have of something out there controlling our lives became ridiculous. Time became utterly without meaning. Belief of any kind did not exist. What about this idea we have of a guru or some god?
It all became abundantly clear. All these profound texts, religions and philosophies that I had been studying became plainly obvious—they are all relative reality, a product of mind and of belief. It doesn’t really matter if we memorize six million Buddhist scriptures, or find deep revelations in various religions throughout the ages, it’s all very simple. We can believe anything that we want, and it does not change reality. It only changes how we navigate within our confusion. We must awaken to what is, as it is, or we will continue in a state of perpetual suffering.
Well, who will help us to awaken? Where can we find a guru who will give us this opportunity? In our mundane existence, it seems very important to find someone who will give us good advice or help us here or there, a spiritual friend of some sort.
In The Frog: A Spiritual Autobiography Spanning Many Lifetimes I tried to explain how this works. I explained how I needed many teachers, and that I went on my own to develop this potentiality that I had heard about. Our real potentiality is unlimited, and it is not outside of us. If we look to another person, making them our Guru, setting them out there, beyond us, high up on a pedestal, or turn them into a cult leader who we think has all the answers, then we are not looking at a guru, we are creating a problem for our mind. It’s very simple. The Guru is not out there someplace. The Guru is within us, just waiting for us to awaken.
If we look at a spiritual friend, seeing that they are also the Guru, in a way that we understand that they are sharing this condition with us, this inner condition of unlimited potentiality, then we are seeing who the Guru really is. This friend becomes inseparable from us on the ultimate level. It’s a subtle difference here with taking this attitude. We never give up our own power to another. We must maintain our own progress with awakening. It’s up to us, it’s never something that the Guru can do for you.
That said, it is also indispensable to seek spiritual friends in this mundane existence who can help. This means not only finding more experienced Spiritual Practitioners who can help, but also seeing the Guru in all beings. Every living being has something to teach us. We are all the Guru, even if we are stupid or cruel or having any number of deficiencies. This reality of life is that we all emanate from the light of Dharmakaya, even if we think that we are very dark, hiding in the shadows of our mind, living with much to regret.
May we all find the perfect Guru at the perfect time. Blessings to you all in your quest to awaken. Awaken, we must.